Peer Influence on Ethnic-Racial Identity Development: A Multi-Site Investigation
Date: Thursday March 4th, 2021 11:30-1 PST
Speaker: Dr. Carlos Santos
Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles
Abstract: The peer context features prominently in theory, and increasingly in empirical research, about ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development, but no studies have assessed peer influence on ERI using methods designed to properly assess peer influence. We examined peer influence on ERI centrality, private, and public regard using longitudinal social network analysis. Data were drawn from two sites: a predominantly Latina/o Southwestern (SW) school (N = 1034; Mage = 12.10) and a diverse Midwestern (MW) school (N = 513; Mage = 11.99). Findings showed that peers influenced each other’s public regard overtime at both sites. However, peer influence on centrality was evident in the SW site, whereas peer influence on private regard was evident in the MW site. Importantly, peer influence was evident after controlling for selection effects. Our integration of developmental, contextual, and social network perspectives offers a fruitful approach to explicate how ERI content may shift in early adolescence as a function of peer influence.